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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 39 asked in the Legislative Council on 13 February 2019 by Hon Tim Clifford

Minister responding: Hon P.C. Tinley
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 13 February 2019

PUBLIC HOUSING — SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS

39. Hon TIM CLIFFORD to the minister representing the Minister for Housing:

I refer to the minister's response to question without notice 634 in 2017, in which he stated that a 2012 pilot project undertaken by the then Housing Authority and the Public Utilities Office found that the installation of solar photovoltaic panels on public housing was not economically viable.

(1) Has the Department of Communities continued to monitor the cost-effectiveness of solar PV, as promised in the minister's response?

(2) Could the minister please table any documents or reports that outline the result of this monitoring?

(3) Could the minister please table any reports documenting the results of the 2012 pilot project?

(4) Given the increasing cost of electricity in Western Australia as a result of the government's aim to achieve cost reflectivity and the decreasing cost of installing solar PV, could the minister please provide an updated cost–benefit analysis of installing solar PV on social housing properties?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1) Yes. In 2016, the Housing Authority undertook a study to assess whether a power purchase agreement instrument could be used to attract private sector funding for the rollout of solar PV on its public housing properties. The Department of Communities, of which the Housing Authority is a part, is currently trialling the PPA at the Amble Estate in Girrawheen; however, this is limited to properties available for purchase only. The Department of Communities will continue to monitor the potential for a PPA-funded project in its tenanted properties.

(2) Yes. I table a document from 2016, headed ''Pre-Feasibility Concept and Cost Benefit Analysis Study''.

[See paper 2397.]

(3) No. This question should be referred to the Treasurer as the report was completed by the Public Utilities Office.

(4) No. The Department of Communities is funded to provide safe and affordable housing and, when appropriate, the provision of energy subsidies for the most vulnerable members of our community. The Department of Communities will continue to support externally funded initiatives using its tenanted properties for solar PV power generation. The Department of Communities will continue to monitor the ongoing cost of maintaining the solar PV systems installed during the trial, particularly the period between the expiry of their warranty and their expected life.